Anxiety, Bipolar and Agoraphobia

My name is Grant Vinson. I am a 26 year old male in the middle of the US. When I turned 21, I developed a severe case of anxiety. This didn’t make sense to me due to the fact that I was in a touring band who played 50+ shows a year across the country, alone, with a group of party animals. Once I quit the band, my disorders finally came to light.

I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety a few months later. I was prescribed all of the medicines my doctor prescribed for these types of illnesses. Nothing changed. I then eventually saw an actual psychiatrist and he thought I was suffering from bipolar. I started taking lamtrogine and buspar for my anxiety and mood swings. Lamotrigine definitely helped the mood swings but my anxiety has not gotten any better.

Yesterday, I went to my psychologist who determined I might actually be suffering from agoraphobia. I am glad I know what I might actually have now, but I am extremely upset I have more to add to my list of disorders. I used to be such a happy go lucky kid who ran around and hung out all of the time. Now, at 26, I don’t leave my couch. I go to work, come home, and go from the couch to the bed around 11pm. Every night. Monday-Monday. This is no way for a 26 year old full of ambition to live a life.

My biggest dream is to become one of the top developers people respect and look up to, such as Chris Coyier or Zeldman. I feel that with my disorders, these dreams will never happen and its devastating. I also have a mild case of grandiose which doesn’t help the matter whatsoever.

I am attending a music festival this weekend and have been terrified of it every year I go. My palms sweat for days, my heart wont stop racing and I have uncontrollable leg shakes 24/7. I just want it to end. It almost makes me tear up this typing this.

I saw a talk last year at Laracon in NYC by Greg Baugues called “Dev and Depression” and it made me feel somewhat normal. I finally realized that other great developers/designers suffer from the same thing I do. It hasn’t helped me solve or reduce these outbursts, but I no longer feel alone. I unfornately feel like I have no one to talk to other than my drs, gf and family. They are great but it hasn’t helped much so far.

I really miss living a life. I’ve turned into a shell of a person and it makes me feel pathetic. I wish I could just force myself to leave my house, but its scary as hell.

I have no answers for anyone and don’t have any advice to give but I am always willing to openly talk about these issues if anyone is interested.

Thanks for reading my thoughts, its a desperate place up there…